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Things to See Between Dallas and Chicago

We are driving to a family reunion in Chicago this summer with my 7 year old daughter. Besides the St. Louis arch and some Lincoln historical sites in Illinois, does anyone have any ideas for things to make this road trip a little more interesting?

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We live in Tulsa, OK, so if you are coming through us, here are some thigns you'll pass along the way up to Chicago:

Grant's Farm--St Louis, MO. free and tons to do!
Meramec Caverns in MO--a lot of fun for kids to see the different rock formations
L. Ingalls Wilder Museum and house-Mansfield, MO--This is about 1hour off the track you'll probably take, but if she like LIW, this is great!
Discoveryland-Sand Springs/Tulsa-Outdoor musical performance of Oklahoma! It has real horses, buggies etc. You'd have to check times for shows.
Black Wall Street/Greenwood in Tulsa OK. Site of the major 1921 Race Riot--the largest in the USA. The Greenwood Cultural Center has some interesting information and you can tour a home from that time. Should be free,but have to schedule tour in advance. There is also Rudisill Library with a lot of info on the Race Riot, and the new John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation which has a nice memorial park.
Precious Moments Chapel--Carthage MO
Askinsosie Chocolate Factory--Springfield MO. Single source chocolate. They give free tours and it's fun to watch! Chocolate is expensive though.
McAlester, OK--has some good Italian restaurants (although one is a greasy spoon).
Will Rogers Museum-Claremore and Oologah, OK.
Five Civilized Tribes Museum-Muskogee, OK. Museum on the Five Native American Tribes sent to OK during the trail of tears and now the official "Five Civilized Tribes" of the US.

I don';t think you'll go through Oklahoma City, but if you do, there are some great museums and the OKC Bombing memorial which is very moving.

Have fune!

go to triple A's website. and plan your route and it will show you things to see along the way and even places to eat and stay for hotels! i used it when we went to ava, mo and had our trip all planned and what to see.

I am from St. Louis, and there are a ton of things (FREE!) to do there! You could take her to Grant's Farm (Has the Budweiser Clydesdales (horses), goats, etc which she might like. The St. Louis Zoo (free except to park) is really good as well. They have the science center which is off of highway 40 in St. Louis (Just past the zoo) which is really cool as well, but not free, sorry! You could see the beautiful Budweiser Brewery if you wanted to do something for the adults which is just down the road from the Arch. You could take her to Forest Park which is the site of the 1904 World's Fair, and still has some really old buildings, plus it's a really pretty park. Other than that, there's not much in Oklahoma (Depends on which route you take to Chicago, but I believe you can take the long route (35) up through Kansas City and see some things there as well and then take 70 across to St. Louis. I think Oklahoma has one of the biggest balls of twine, if you're into that as well.. ha! Hope these suggestions help ya out!

Not sure which way you are going, but if you are close to Memphis, you could go to Graceland. I live near that area and really didn't think I would like it, but it was really fun. I don't know if they still have these, but they used to have horses on the grounds and you could go in the private jet, so it might be fun for your 7 year old.

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